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Detail_Mungo National Park_NSW

Detail_Mungo National Park_NSW

Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M Aspherical lens with Kodak Ektachrome E100VS film

Mungo National Park in far Southwest NSW, Australia is a fascinating location for exploring and photography. It’s an ancient, arid landscape that many thousands of years ago was part of a huge inland lake system that supported a range of flora and fauna and, as a consequence, the regions indigenous people.

This image was made at the end of a long day’s exploration. I’d photographed the sunset, which rendered naturally sculptured elements on the dunes into surreal, vividly colored forms. The light lingered for at least 20 minutes after sunset and produced a soft, warm glow to the landscape. Noticing the tuft of grass, on the top of a mound of sand, I moved in for a close up. It’s a straightforward image that relies on the color contrast between the grass and sand, the repetitive pattern of the lines and the bizarre relationship between the seemingly disparate elements of grass and sand.

This small tuft of grass, isolated by the surrounding sand, acts as a metaphor that could suggest a range of thoughts including the following:

  • The risk to our way of life posed by a changing environment
  • The ability to survive, despite your environment
  • Your ability to grow, despite hardship
  • People that seem to have nothing in common, co-existing peacefully

The vivid color saturation associated with Kodak Professional Ektachrome 100Vs film did a great job of portraying the strength of color in this image. I’ve employed Adobe Camera RAW and Adobe Photoshop CS4 (I processed this image prior to upgrading to CS5) to process the scanned transparency to reproduce, as accurately as possible, the colors recorded by the film. A strong vignette was added to help draw the eye towards the key foreground elements.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Buying Camera Equipment and What I’ve Learned Along the Way_Part II

Monk, Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Equipment: Hasselblad 500CM camera and Hasselblad 150mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Professional Ektacolor Gold 160 film

Continuing on from yesterdays article I returned to study in 1989 to a degree level photography course. The previous 2 years study at the private college was not recognized so I had to begin again at year 1. I needed another camera so I purchased a 60’s vintage Rollei SL66 camera with an 80mm standard and, I think 150mm portrait lens. This was a medium format camera, producing 12 _6x6cm images on a roll of 120 film. The newer versions of the camera, 70’s onwards, were superb. Unfortunately mine was a dog and caused me some grief.

That year I also purchased a 4”x5” large format camera. Rather than the large, heavy and cumbersome monorail version, favored by studio photographers, this was a flat field camera that folded flat. It was lightweight and ease to carry. A beautiful thing all word and brass that I purchased with a secondhand wide-angle lens. It’s the sort of camera where you load a single sheet of 4”x5” film into the camera, composing the image on a similarly sized ground glass screen with a large cloth (ideally black on the inside and white, to reflect the hot sun, on the outside) wrapped around to cut back reflections on the ground glass screen.

Not being terribly competent with the camera I took it on my second overseas trip. Sadly, after arriving in Ladakh following a torrid journey through Kashmir and over the Himalayas, with numerous adventures along the way, the lens packed it in. Unable to have it repaired, I had to carry the whole kit around for the remainder of the 10-week trip. I did make several usable images, a few of which I may still have. I remember, in particular, some shots of a young Korean Buddhist nun I photographed on a rooftop in Leh, Ladakh. It was a romantic notion to be using that type of camera, much like the great early travel photographers such as Samuel Bourne, in India and the middle East, or Timothy O’Sullivan in America. The fact was neither me or the equipment was up to the task.

In 1990 I returned to another 6×6 medium format camera. I wanted a brand new Rollei SL66 kit but, being almost impossible to buy through the Australian agents at that time, I upgraded to a new Hasselblad 500CM. The blad was a good camera, though a little clunky with one or two really weird foibles that had remained with the camera since the original model several decades early. Once again I bought an 80m and 150mm lens. My old boss, John Noyes, was now National Sales Manager at the Australian distributor for Hasselblad cameras. That made the purchase of this expensive new kit somewhat easier. In case you’re wondering he’s retired and those days are long gone.

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Pic of the Week_Sunrise_Squeaky Beach_Wilsons Promontory National Park

Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron lens with Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100VS film

Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M Aspherical lens with Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100VS film

Squeaky Beach is a favourite location for visitors to Wilsons Promontory National Park in Victoria, Australia. This image was made at sunset. As I was facing the sun the difference in brightness between the dark foreground rocks and the much brighter sky was extreme. As a result the rocks were rendered as a silhouette. This image relies on the shape of the rocks, the texture in the water and the warm/cool color contrast of sky and water.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Bleached Rocks_Whisky Bay_Wilsons Promontory National Park

Leica M7 camera and Leica 21mm f2.8 Elmarit lens with Fuji Velvia 100F film

Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M Aspherical lens with Fuji Velvia 100F film

Wilsons Promontory National Park covers the southern most part of the Australian mainland. Located in southeast Victoria the park offers a range of short and overnight walks allowing the visitor to explore magical beaches, enchanting forests and wonderful mountain top views. A stay of between 3 days and several weeks will allow the visitor to experience serene beauty enhanced by an often-sublime light. All this, together with changeable weather patterns, is what makes the prom a photographers delight.

The above image was made with late afternoon light at Whisky Bay, a short drive from the popular Tidal River campground. I remember being drawn to this particular composition by the textures and rusty orange color of the rocks against the cool blue of the sky. The fact that only a small amount of sky is included places further emphasise on the rocks. An aperture of f22 provided the large Depth of Field (DOF) ensuring that all the rocks remain sharp, from foreground to background.

The original film based image was processed in Adobe Photoshop CS3.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Pic of the Week_Kelp and Rock_Apollo Bay_Great Ocean Road

Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film

Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M Aspherical lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film

Here’s an older image from one of my favourite places, Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. The image was made at low tide and features some kelp that had been washed up on a rock ledge at high tide.

I utilised the Black and White Adjustment layer in Adobe Photoshop CS3 to convert the original color transparency into the black-and-white image featured in this post.

 I love the impact resulting from the high contrast treatment given to this image. I feel it conveys a more dramatic mood that better matches my intentions than what I was able to achieve with the original color transparency.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography 

Barham River_Mariners Falls_Apollo Bay_Great Ocean Road

 

Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M lens with Fuji Velvia 100F film

Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M lens with Fuji Velvia 100F film

Mariners Falls is situated a short drive out of Apollo Bay along the Great Ocean Road and offers great opportunities for photographers to spend a few hours engaged in what they do best. The falls are very accessible via an easy walk from the car park. Along the way one of four straightforward river crossings, requiring some easy and fun rock hoping, will bring you to this lovely spot.

The above scene features the Barham River and was made from one of the before mentioned crossing points. It was very picturesque and relatively straightforward to compose. The greatest problem was the scene’s high contrast, due to the relatively bright sun. I resolved the problem in camera by framing out the bright sky and allowing the darker surroundings to lead the eye into the centre of the frame. The darker surroundings therefore act like a kind of ‘frame within a frame’ helping the viewer skip from the lighter toned foreground through to similarly toned areas in the mid ground and background.

Further adjustments to contrast were made in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CS3.

In you’re fortunate enough to visit Apollo Bay you’ll find the short trip to Mariners Falls well worth the effort.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography      

 

 

In you’re fortunate enough to visit Apollo Bay you’ll find the short trip to Mariners Falls well worth the effort.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Craigs Hut

 

Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M series Aspherical lens with Fuji Velvia 100 film

Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M series Aspherical lens with Fuji Velvia 100 film

Those folks that have been following my posts over the last few weeks would be aware of the terrible bushfires we’re currently experiencing in my home state of Victoria. Today’s image features an iconic location, Craig’s Hut, on Mount Stirling in the Alpine National Park. Situated around 60 km east of Mansfield the hut is a replica of the type built by cattlemen to provide respite during poor weather in the high country.

At 1455 meters above sea level the hut was originally constructed for the 1981 film, The Man from Snowy River, based on the famous poem of the same name by Banjo Patterson. Having undergone numerous alterations over the years the hut was rebuilt after being destroyed by a bushfire in 1993. I made the above image on New Years Day, 2005. The hut burned down once again during a major bushfire on December 11th, 2006. It has only recently been rebuilt.

The above image was made with a Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M series Aspherical lens with Fuji Velvia 100 film. I remember being drawn to the surreal colors present in the sky and the delicate pastel glow on the building. I  feel this image successfully communicates the power of this relatively modern Australian icon, situated within an awe-inspiring landscape, that harkens back to bygone days.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography 

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